Awards night for the Lions

Heanor Town produced arguably their best football of the season in their final game of the campaign at Worksop Parramore last Thursday (see report below).

The home side were playing their fifth game in 12 days but there was still much at stake for them despite losing their League Cup semi final and fourth place in the table.

The latter though would still have been within their sights had they beaten the Lions.

But for Heanor it was a top half finish in 11th place which represents a satisfactory conclusion to their first season as a Step Five club, considering the mountains they have had to climb.

The season ends with the surety that there will be new people at the helm when the 130-year-old club embarks on its second season at this level come August.

Indeed, it is understood that the formal handing over of the reins was due to take place last Monday which means that next week’s column should be able to bring you all the relevant details.

Meanwhile, the club’s Presentation Evening takes place in the Social Club tomorrow evening (Friday) at 8pm. It is an open evening with an invitation to all those people interested in the club to attend.

It will also be an opportunity for everyone to record their thanks to more than 30 years under John McCulloch and his helpers.

It is understood the 12th Man Supporters Club’s Player of the Year has been a closely guarded thing in both the voting and the name of the winner. The rest of the honours are expected to be equally keenly contested.

There are a number of candidates for the Player of the Year with the leadership and captaincy of Ian Clarke just one. It’s a shame that Clarke, who works in London, has not always been available for midweek games because his deft touches and superb vision have been missed when he has not been available.

Nico Degirolamo, who made his 50th appearance of the season at Worksop Parramore, is sure to be a strong contender, along with local lads Lee Stevenson and Stef Frost, the latter taking over as leading goalscorer upon the departure of Nathan Benger.

There have been some splendid displays, including Neil Grayson’s 45 appearances and Phil Austin, another player whose appearances have been limited due to his job as a fireman and his appearances for the British Fire Brigade team. It should be an excellent and emotional evening.